The Romance of the Rails

Old railroad train, steaming

(Photo by Otto C. Perry, courtesy of Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Dept.)

In TUFF Love, Carrot Ranch’s Charli Mills asked participants to revise an original western romance through a 99-59-9-99 word process with each step requiring a different craft twist. This event is an exercise of inspiration through to editing. I didn’t enter this one because it turned out to be more about discovering heart’s desire of Self, than traditional Romance. But I still like it, so I share with you all.

Original 99-word Draft: Molly Rides the Rails

Molly rode the rails these days. Cities had sprung up, like oozing boils, over the open prairie she loved. With the spread of progress came the spread of stifling rules.

Forced by her father to shed her buckskin, don heavy skirts with tight collars, binding her hair from the wind’s caressing fingers, she appeared the perfect little miss. Continue reading

Bundle

Homeless person in a thing blanket, in a windy blizzard

She shivered in her layers of jackets, hunched over on the park bench. So cold that even the birds dared not sing for fear of cracking their beaks. A bedraggled squirrel flicked his careworn tail, hopping from frozen bundles of dirty gray leaves, to clods of dirt, to pieces of trash embedded in ice. Try as he might to make little to no contact with the ground, even his toes got cold, and he limped over to a concretized tree and jerked his way up and around the trunk and disappeared. Continue reading

A Wild Hare: Post-pandemica

This week’s prompt from Carrot Ranch was to write a microfiction off the prompt “A rabbit on the roof.” Challenge accepted. Hope you all enjoy and empathize!

Wild Hare (Merrie Melodies. 07/27/1940)

Creds to Wild Hare (Merrie Melodies. 07/27/1940)

A Wild Hare: Post-pandemica

I looked in the mirror, unsure. Six months quarantine, but now it’s safe to go out. I stepped out back, hesitating to shake free the sheet full of recently cut hair. Could this be used? Continue reading

A Cold Walk With Janus

Wind howls down the street, down the sidewalk and hill, so difficult to tackle on mornings like today. Icy shards lift, whip around and slap Laurel’s cheeks as she trudges against the wind. She swears, wishing she’d strapped ice grippers onto her hiking boots. The sun limns the hilltop. Continue reading